Luca Mortellaro… let’s start from the origins: we know you’re born in Palermo, then moved to Paris and then Berlin; tell us about your artistic and musical evolution through these cities and what they have transmitted to you?
Musically the three cities could be summed up as thesis, antithesis and synthesis. Palermo was, for me, about building the foundations of musical expression, of learning what to do with this impulse to create something, to express something. Paris was a period of creative isolation, of making my own music just for me, and this led to an implosion of my artistic structures, it was a painful but useful process to really question everything. Moving to Berlin I’ve entered into a really productive phase and have been able to use all the friction of the past to fuel the creative process. I feel like Berlin is a kind of ‘springtime’ for me as an artist.
Only a few people know Oblivious Artefacts, compared to the well-known record label, Stroboscopic Artefacts. Who is behind Oblivious Artefacts and what is the role of OA within SA?
Oblivious Artefacts is comprised of Ignazio Mortellaro and Marco Morici plus various guests. It’s a collective of artists who work as contemporary visual artists, and they look after the entire graphic identity of SA: from the monochrome visuals at our showcases to cover artworks, teasers, packaging, the are behind the graphic direction of the label.
What will be your setup for the live set @ Bloc Festival? Are you looking forward to seeing some artists during the festival yourself?
At Bloc I’ll be playing with some analogue FX units, laptop and midi controllers. I think this year Bloc has their best line-up to date. I’m excited to check out Flying Lotus, Amon Tobin live and of course the usual suspects, Surgeon, Perc, Xhin, Alva Noto and so on.
So let’s talk for a while about the Italian scene: in your opinion, what are the main problems for the Italian underground scene? Do you agree that maybe we have lost the real meaning of club music and that everything is focused on business at the expense of the passion and love for the sounds and sentiments of the underground?
Actually, I think that the scene in Italy is just waking up and is moving in a very dynamic direction. To name just a few instances, there are some very interesting things going on at the Privat Party in Milan, Goa Club in Rome with its Anarchy in the Club event and Cocoricò, who dedicated an entire room to their ‘Morph’ party and do events that showcase low profile artists. On the festivals front Club To Club in Turin is still one of the best in Europe. And let’s not forget about the master producers who are based in Italy, Donato Dozzy, Obtane, Claudio PRC, Nest, Giorgio Gigli, Neel or Plaster.
have you got some exclusive news that we can bring back to Italy for Different Grooves readers?
Hot off the press is the news that I will be debuting at the Italian Edition of the Time Warp Festival in Milan this summer.
Stellate is yet another original concept from SA, tell us about the first ideas and what you wanted to express with this project?
Stellate Series gathers sounds from the experimental frontiers and outer edges of electronic music. For every Stellate release four producers have each created two tracks. The eight resulting tracks highlight four unique minds and the disparate sounds that gravitate together at the periphery. Stellate is a research into the impulses behind electronic dance music.
You started with the Sampler Series, then Monad and now is Stellate. SA is future-thinking in its output and provides new forms of music each time. Does it represent your visionary spirit? How did these innovative ideas come about?
I just try to dig into ‘myself’ as deep as I can, and these are thing that come out, the ideas and the art that results are instinctive in this sense. I think James Joyce expressed this feeling brilliantly: “ Every life is in many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love. But always meeting ourselves”.
The collaboration with Xhin and the releases on CLR are extremely stripped-down and industrial. Did you ever think about evolving this collaboration into a live show?
Yes, those LX tracks for CLR were always very fun to produce. It’s always a pleasure to spend time in the studio with an old ‘partner in crime’ like Xhin. And of course, every time that Xhin and I play back to back things go in that industrial direction and then travel far beyond it. A really unforgettable set for us was at the SA showcase in Copenhagen when we played for 5 hours straight back to back.
Have you got some forthcoming collaborative projects?
I’ve just come to the end of a 1 and a half year project which has resulted in a full length record, I can’t reveal the details but you’ll be hearing about it soon enough. And absolutely inspiring has been the opportunity to work in the studio with Juan Mendez (Silent Servant), we have always had a very intense and inspiring friendship and so when we started working together I was already sure that the result was going to be amazing. The EP from Silent Servant and Lucy is scheduled for release in 2012.
Interview by Michele, Filippo, Mitja
Special thanks to Nancy from Bloc Festival